Luxembourg City (Luxembourgish Lëtzebuerg, French Luxembourg, German Luxemburg) is the capital of the eponymous duchy in the heart of Europe. It is a small, and — in comparison with other world capitals – even a tiny city, nestled in a picturesque valley of the rivers Alzette and Petrus. The city is clearly divided into two parts – the upper town and lower town, connected with numerous historical bridges.
Despite the small size, Luxembourg is renowned for its numerous architectural monuments, Gothic churches, and narrow ancient cobbled streets, creating an incredible sense of immersion into the Medieval Europe.
Luxembourg is not a large tourist resort area as, for example, Paris or Amsterdam, however, it is more likely to be its advantage. It is full of tranquility and serenity. If you want to take a several day break from the big city life bustle and stress, Luxembourg is your choice!
At the same time, you won’t be bored here at all. This attractive city can boast an improbable number of art galleries, exhibition centers, and multiple museums. Or you can just let yourself get lost in a maze of small streets and discover places just for yourself, whose existence you could never have imagined.
What Area is the Best to Stay in Luxembourg?
Can you believe that such a tiny city, whose area is only 52 square kilometers, is divided into 24 administrative districts? Fortunately, tourists needn’t bother to learn about each of them to decide on the best place to stay.
These three districts will be of interest to travelers: the aforementioned upper town, as well as the railway station area and the Kirchberg business district. The lower town merits special attention too, although there are almost no hotels there.
Let’s take a closer look at these areas.
The Upper Town
The upper town (Ville Haute district) is a historic part of Luxembourg. Most of the streets in the center of this neighborhood are pedestrian, as they are too narrow for cars. Therefore, if you travel by car, you’d better stay a little farther from this area. Not only you will fail to find any parking space here, but also you are banned to get to the historical center by car.
The advantage of staying in this location is its proximity to all attractions. As I have already said, Luxembourg is а small city, and wherever in the historical center you stay, you can reach any historically significant location on foot within 5–20 minutes. And you will have a hotel room with a view of spires and turrets of fascinating Gothic style buildings.
In this district, there is the Fortress of Luxembourg, Gothic Saint Michel's Church, Saint-Quiren's chapel carved into the rocky valley wall, Notre-Dame Cathedral and, of course, absolutely fantastic Grand Ducal Palace in Moorish style.
Here you will find numerous cafés and restaurants where you can relax over a cup of coffee on the terrace or meet up with friends over dinner and enjoy the exquisite cuisine with a glass of awesome mosel wine.
Here you can turn your attention to the Hotel Simoncini and Hotel Parc Beaux Arts, located in the heart of the upper town, as well as to the Domus Hotel, overby the pedestrian area of Luxembourg and with own parking space.
The Railway Station Neighborhood
The railway station district (Gare district) is, as a rule, very convenient for those who travel on their own using public transport. Luxembourg railway station can make a starting point for a journey across Europe. The main directions are the nearby countries, like France, Belgium, Switzerland, and Germany.
It is rather quiet and peaceful here, although nearby there is a main station. Do not be afraid, that it will be too noisy, or that something will surely happen to you. Actually, Luxembourg is the safest European city. This location can impress with a nice selection of hotels like the ibis Styles Luxembourg Centre Gare, Park Inn by Radisson Luxembourg City, and JJ32.
Only 15 minutes’ walk at a leisurely pace away there is a realm of shopping. All the major stores and malls are located nearby the station, including boutiques of reputed European brands. Here you can find multiple restaurants and cafés for every taste and budget.
The historic part of the city, the main square of the city Place Guillaume II is only a 20-25 minute walk away.
Kirchberg is a modern quarter in North-Eastern Luxembourg with numerous European Union institutions, including the Council of the European Union, as well as the quarters of the General Secretariat of the European Parliament, the Directorate General of the European Commission, the Court of Justice of the European Union, and the European Investment Bank.
It is located some distance away from the old town. Although, this district is garnished with some attractions (e.g., the ancient "Three Acorn" fortress), I'd recommend it only if you have come to Luxembourg on a business trip and you need to stay in a hotel close to the place of your work.
The Lower Town
The lower town (Grund or Gronn district) is of note, too. This area is located in the valley below the upper town (mostly on the opposite bank of the river Alzette). It is a kind of a business quarter of the city, hosting numerous banks, offices of various global companies, and well-established breweries.
The lower town looks more contemporary than the upper town. However, in this area of Luxembourg you can also come across medieval quarters with ancient buildings. Here, you will see modern skyscrapers neighboring low-rise picturesque buildings, which creates a bright and unforgettable contrast.
At the same time, the historical part of the city is within а walking distance. You can take a walk, it won’t take long. On the other hand, with such beauty all around you, time flies by imperceptibly, and your promenade is a distinct pleasure.
The lower town is convenient as it is still the center, but slightly aside from a hive of tourists and a heap of noise. You can still reach the main attractions of the historic center on foot, however, there are sights within the lower town, too.
This district can be of interest for business tourists, those who come to Luxembourg on business. It is highly probable, that the company's office you have been seconded to, will be located here. In this case, it makes sense to rent apartments from owners, using special booking websites like www.vrbo.com, etc. As to hotels, perhaps, only a small hotel, La Pipistrelle, is worth mentioning, as it is conveniently located almost on the border between the lower and upper town.
Things to Consider When Choosing a Hotel in Luxembourg
Luxembourg is a small and very compact city. In most cases, you are unlikely to stay here more than for a day or two, as you need only 4-5 hours to see the city itself.
If you are in love with historical Europe, the upper city is your place to stay of choice. Every step you take, you will come across exceptional buildings and monuments creating the unmatched atmosphere of Medieval Europe. Here, you can relish an incredible view over the lower town. Moreover, most of the hotels are located in ancient buildings. It’s magic itself. Although, it also leaves its mark. As we know, the ancient buildings are not always the most comfortable accommodation. Thus, it is worth checking reviews on the booking websites to make sure that the hotel you have opted for will be comfortable for you.
If you travel by car, I recommend turn to the Gare district (the railway station) or the lower town. The lower town impresses with its historic buildings and modern skyscrapers contrast, and nearby the station there are a lot of malls and stores for shopping fans.
Several times a year festivals are held in Luxembourg, which makes the city more picturesque. If you want to come to these festivals, you’d better book hotels in advance, otherwise you will overpay significantly, because hotels in Luxembourg are not always low-budget.
Speaking of the budget, it is worth mentioning that the most affordable choice is in the railway station area. Provided that, they sell out rather quickly, so you need to book in advance.